May 26, 2018
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2 men charged in savage beating in Howland plead no contest to assault charges

By Judy Harrison, BDN Staff

BANGOR, Maine — Two of the four men charged in connection with what police called a vicious beating last August in Howland that outraged the community were convicted Monday of aggravated assault after entering no contest pleas.

Henry R. McKinnon, 28, of Howland, his brother, John T. McKinnon, 23, of Howland, Brandon Summerson, 22, of Enfield, and Charles Gardner, 21, of Howland were charged in connection with a fight over an alleged drug sale in which the victims suffered broken facial bones, broken ribs and knocked-out teeth.

At the Penobscot Judicial Center, Henry R. McKinnon and Summerson were found guilty on Monday of two counts each of aggravated assault in connection with the beating of two men on Aug. 17. Sentencing dates have not been set.

In addition to the assault charge, McKinnon pleaded no contest to violating conditions of his release while on bail. A plea agreement with the Penobscot County district attorney’s office calls for him to serve six years in prison with all but 15 months suspended and three years of probation.

Details of Summerson’s plea agreement still were being worked out, said Assistant District Attorney Alice Clifford, who is prosecuting the case.

Sentencing dates have not been set.

On Monday, John McKinnon waived his right to a jury trial and agreed to be tried in early October by a judge.

Gardner’s case was continued until next month. In addition to the aggravated assault charges the other men are facing, Gardner also was charged with elevated aggravated assault.

The maximum sentence for elevated aggravated assault is 30 years in prison, while the maximum sentence for aggravated assault is 10 years in prison.

All four men remain free on bail.

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